One of my best friends is a Specialized ambassador. Specialized are a bike brand and Laura leads rides for the Essex area from the Chelmsford concept store.
On Sunday there was an Action Medical Research event that she had signed up to with a group of her ladies from these rides and they were doing the champion route of 101 miles. I was asked to join and so went along – what is not to like? An event for a worthwhile cause, being on my bike with a group of awesome ladies and spending a day in the sun.
The ride started from Chelmsford and headed out to Suffolk and back. It was 100 miles of undulating road, but nothing too challenging, that was full of chatting and laughter and the occasional shout from Laura for me to power up a hill which is very often her just cycling up next to me shouting to attack it (it is these times I rethink my friend choices).
One of the best things about the events from Action Medical Research are the rest stops. not just some water and electrolytes but proper food including tea, coffee, juice, sandwiches, crisps, cakes, fruit, sweets and jaffa cakes! I mean jaffa cakes are essential you know. And the super friendly marshalls and volunteers at the stops too – much appreciated and they all help to make these events what they are.
There was also one rest stop with the best playground – not a necessity for a bike ride I grant you but a lot of fun that neither Laura or I could resist. We care not what we look like in full lycra, cleats, helmets and zipping along a swing or climbing up a huge tyre. Its a fun day outside in every sense.
It was a really gorgeous route along lots of country roads so relatively low on traffic and busy junctions were minimal. So many new places I want to go back and cycle to and one pub I will definitely be visiting, the Henny Swan.
We found funny named roads that made us giggle (yes we are that immature).
I have never seen so many thatched houses either – one lady in our group commented on one being a lovely thatch. Who knew that was a thing – sadly no further thatched houses compared.
A shout out to these ladies who were awesome. One lady is about to embark on Lands End to John O’Groats next weekend. Another only started cycling two months ago and this was her fifth ride with her furthest distance up until this point being 58 miles. Such a massive achievement even if post the ride she lost the use of her hands and was unable to cut up her Nandos chicken (I’m not being mean it was just very funny to watch).
We started together, we rode the whole way together and we finished together. And some of us even have matching cycling tans naturally.
If you are interested in joining one of these rides with Laura you can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org or on her Instagram @lalalawson